Yesterday the U.S. Senate failed to invoke cloture on the DREAM Act (HR 5281), ending the chance for any legislative accomplishments on the issue of immigration. While much of the last two years was spent addressing the issues of health care reform, and the economy, to Latino voters a third issue loomed as being equally important for the President and Congress to address - immigration reform.
In final tracking poll released November 1, 2010 Latino voters told Latino Decisions that immigration was the second most important issue, just behind the economy. In their 2010 election eve poll 48% of Latino voters said jobs/economy was the top issue of concern, but immigration loomed as a major issue with 37% calling it the top issue to be addressed. And when asked specifically about the DREAM Act, the same poll found 75% of Latino voters said it was very or extremely important for the DREAM Act to be passed by Congress, with another 13% saying somewhat important—that’s 88% all told who thought it was important for Congress to pass DREAM.
Last week, Prof. Stephen Nuño posted analysis of the DREAM Act by party affiliation which found that 80% of Latino Republicans supported the DREAM Act, as did 90% of Latino Democrats. Among foreign born Latino voters 94% supported passage of DREAM, and among U.S. born Latinos 86% supported its passage. It was clear from more than two-dozen polls conducted in 2010 that immigration reform was a top issue of concern for Latino voters, and yesterday those hopes and dreams for just a small start to comprehensive reform were shattered by the 45 Senators who did not support moving forward with the DREAM Act.